Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty is now available for public preview. The solution will allow governments to use the cloud to help meet data compliance and security requirements while advancing their digital transformation efforts.
Microsoft is also releasing several new features for users, including the Sovereign Landing Zone and policy initiative which is now available on GitHub and instantiates guardrails for sovereign cloud environments for user workloads.
Eligible customers can also use new transparency logs to gain visibility into the key operational activities of Microsoft engineers to support users. In addition, they will be able to use automated workload templates for Azure Confidential Computing and Azure Lighthouse to help sovereign environments learn and adopt the technology quickly.
Selected governments and partners have already participated in a pilot programme for Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty. For example, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in the Netherlands piloted the solution to help establish a cloud centre of excellence whilst ensuring compliance with the Dutch BIO regulation, a security framework that encompasses all layers of the public sector.
“The NCSC is piloting avenues to adopt and use secure, robust public cloud offerings,” said Arnoud van Petersen, chief information officer and head of IT services at NCSC Netherlands. “Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty, with its specialised features like sovereign landing zones, and well-developed security and artificial intelligence capabilities provide a solution that fits our strategy of enabling cloud innovation without compromising sovereign controls.”
Meanwhile InSpark, a subsidiary of Dutch telecommunications firm Royal KPN, is working as a dedicated Microsoft Cloud incubator for mission-critical infrastructures for the government. As part of this, it is helping Dutch public sector customers, such as the Municipality of Amsterdam, to adopt the Microsoft cloud for Sovereignty.
“At Municipality of Amsterdam, Cloud for Sovereignty will enable us to leverage cloud capabilities for processes that use or create sensitive information,” said Patrick Scholte, director of platforms and development at the Municipality of Amsterdam. “By migrating from an on-premises data centre to the cloud in compliance with the relevant classification within the Dutch BIO regulation, this enables us to efficiently offer modern services and ultimately improve the experiences of our citizens.”
Meanwhile, Microsoft partner Accenture has developed a Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty implementation strategy to help governments get the most value out of their data when deploying the solution.